Fifty-four delegates of the Convention of 1836 began meeting on March 1st at the village of Washington-on-the-Brazos. Each of the settlements of Texas was represented by delegates elected one month earlier. Richard Ellis was elected president of the convention and Herbert S. Kimble secretary.
With very little time to accomplish its mission, delegates of the Convention of 1836 wrote and adopted the Texas Declaration of Independence, prepared a Constitution for the newly formed Republic, and organized an interim government. These actions were accomplished amid almost daily reports of the invasion on Texas soil by Mexico and the collapse of the Alamo and the destruction of its defenders.
The ad interim government that was created by the delegates took office at the close of the convention and served until the following October when general elections could be held. Officers of the newly formed Republic included:
- David G. Burnet, President
- Lorenzo de Zavala, Vice-president
- Samuel P. Carson, Secretary of State
- Thomas J. Rusk, Secretary of War
- Bailey Hardeman, Secretary of Treasury
- David Thomas, Attorney General
With their mission accomplished, the delegates and the newly formed government of the Republic of Texas adjourned in haste during the early morning hours of March 17, following news of the approach of Santa Anna and the Mexican army.